Manchester Community College
Associate of Science, Early Childhood Education, 2000
Kendra Tisbert was born in Okinawa, Japan and grew up all over the world, giving her the experience of many cultures and traditions.
“Because my father was in the U.S. Air Force, my family lived across several states, and I even attended elementary and high school in Spain.”
As her father approached retirement from the Air Force, he and her mother decided to create a home in the location of her choosing.
“My mother always wanted to move to New England: a place where she could experience all four seasons. So, when dad retired, they packed up and moved to New Hampshire.”
At 19 years old, Kendra left Oklahoma, where they lived at the time, and make the trek to the East Coast with her parents and younger brother.
“I told myself I would give it a year. If I didn’t like it, I’d move someplace else.”
Kendra’s parents, advocates for trade schools and community colleges, encouraged her to start classes after the move.
“I liked the idea of intimate class sizes and not being obligated to live on campus so that I could have a job and a life outside of my coursework, and going to a local community college seemed like the best choice for me.”
Kendra started taking classes at Manchester Community College (MCC) the fall after she moved and quickly found a place that felt like home.
“The scenery, the people, I fell in love with it all. In fact, the cute guy sitting next to me in my first class ended up being the person that I married.”
Kendra always knew she wanted to work with children, and MCC gave her hands-on education and real-world applicability for connecting with students.
“Like the college’s HVAC and automobile programs, the Early Childhood Education Program at MCC gave me the opportunity to take what I was learning and put it into practice at the Child Development Center operated on campus.”
Additionally, the high expectations from the then-department head, Jan Caron, helped support Kendra as an educator and guide her to the next phases of her educational and professional journey.
“At MCC, you’re getting a quality education. Even if you don’t know what you want to do, take a class to challenge yourself. You’ll be glad that you did.”
In 2000, Kendra graduated with her Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education/Special Education from Rivier University in Nashua in 2005.
Today, she is a special education teacher for the Goffstown School District and has since earned two master’s degrees from Walden University in Curriculum Instruction and Assessment in 2009 and Teacher Leadership in 2011.
Then, in 2015, Kendra decided to go back to where it all started:
“I began teaching as an adjunct at MCC in the same rooms where I was a student. MCC is where it all began for me, and it will always hold a little piece of my heart.”